Part 3 : Crossing the channels : Developing an omnichannel offering Building an omnichannel future for European casinos
experience has proven successful . “ We ’ ve seen a significant increase in number of visits and spend in our venues , once a customer plays with us online .”
Despite this successful consolidation of channels and customer databases , it ’ s important not to provide too much of a distinction between online and land-based play . It has to work in tandem , he adds .
“ This isn ’ t a one-way push in customers from venues to online – we provide a joined-up experience across the brand with a membership system that rewards loyalty based on customer preferences and gameplay ,” he explains .
THE POTENTIAL OF LINKING PLAY
In terms of whether online or landbased casinos have more potential , the Covid-19 pandemic may have skewed things in favour of digital offers . But as part of an omnichannel offering , landbased and online play are inherently linked . Therefore , the performance of one channel is linked to the other .
It ’ s also worth noting the presence of igaming in Bliem ’ s and Pettemerides ’ respective regions . While igaming is established in Great Britain , it ’ s a relatively new feature in Switzerland . This explains the differences in approach between the two operators .
In terms of the worldwide lockdowns in 2020 , Bliem reveals that online play did not support land-based play at all for Casino Luzern .
“ We have very high tax rates in Switzerland and we have more or less the same tax rates offline and online , so it doesn ’ t make sense for us to shift revenue from one channel to the other ”
WOLFGANG BLIEM ,
“ Last year , some people were saying that the online business was so huge , that there were too many advertisements ,” reveals Bliem .
“ But in reality , the total amount spent in offline and online was less than the year before . So the online did not compensate the reduction in the offline . There ’ s a different customer group , different behaviours , and the link between the spending is not big .” Both Bliem and Pettemerides see omnichannel performance as inherently connected . This outlook , which seems to have proven positive for both operators , brings land-based and online performance to equal importance in a mutually beneficial relationship .
A RELATIONSHIP ISSUE
Online play can support a landbased counterpart . But it ’ s a complex relationship . Omnichannel offerings have the ability to bring in more customers by leveraging traditionally land-based offerings , and most crucially , allow operators to increase share of wallet .
“ Some customers only want to play online , which is fine ,” Pettemerides says . “ Some customers will only want to play in a venue , but your most valuable customers will want to do both .”
Again , the importance of not making one subsidiary superior to the other comes up . For his part , Bliem says channels must work together to bring forward the most valuable forms of engagement .
“ What we see as popular in Switzerland is live casino operation being broadcast from land-based ,” he says . “ Our customers can play offline in the casino , and can play on the same table online .”
It comes down to whether operators are willing to merge land-based and online channels where possible . According to Pettemerides and Bliem , customers seem keener to engage with offerings that are familiar to them , rather than dazzling new services . Simply put , this is how operators can ensure a balanced relationship between online and land-based play , as opposed to one channel inherently supporting the other .
Building an omnichannel future for European casinos July 2021